A ride over the county will reveal to the observer the same reliable crops of corn, wheat, oats, hay, cotton, alfalfa and potatoes thriving here much the same as in older grain and livestock states. The visitor will see the- rolling prairies, the rich creek and river bottoms and the timbered uplands. If it be the late summer or autumn, he will see wheat or oats stacked or straw piles in every direction. He will pass loaded wagons hauling the grain from steam thresher to elevator. Other teams are hauling baled hay, of which thousands of tons are shipped each year. He may be surprised to learn that wheat makes from ten to forty bushels; oats thirty to eighty bushels; corn twenty to seventy bushels, per acre ; alfalfa from three to five cuttings a season. He will pass fields of cowpeas, kafir, milo, feterita, peanuts, and other crops that may be new to him. An occasional field of cotton will be seen. Mayes County is on the northern limit of the cotton belt, and a few thousand acres of this valuable crop are grown here.
Our visitor will learn that the winters are so mild and open that plows run every month, that oats are seeded in February, corn is planted in March, wheat is harvested in the first half of June, potatoes are maturing by June 10th, and a second crop can be grown from the culls of the first. Pastures. are green nine months of the year and stock feeds on the tall prairie grass throughout the winters.
The following statements about Eastern Oklahoma are quoted from the United States Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau, Section forty. Mayes County is a part of this section. “Nowhere else can be found more nutritious grasses and abundant water, and Eastern Oklahoma ranks high in the production of live stock. Eastern Oklahoma is agreeable for residence and exceptionally favorable for agricultural pursuits, so far as its climatic features are concerned. The harvesting of corn and cotton extends well into the winter months, and the soil is prepared in January, February and March for spring planting, with but little interruption on account of inclement weather. Stock needs little or no protection and the farmer may pursue his vocation throughout practically the entire year. The summers are long, with occasional periods of very high day temperatures ; abnormally high temperatures are almost invariably coincident with a dry atmosphere so that the heat is rarely oppressive. The nights are usually agreeably cool during the entire summer. Eastern Oklahoma is a distinctly agricultural country. The entire section is well watered; the rainfall is well distributed through the growing season and is ample for growing and maturing any of the staple crops ; the annual average is between forty and forty-five inches in the southern and eastern counties. Three-fourths of the annual precipitation occurs during the growing season, March 1, to October 31.
The rains are general and abundant during the spring and early summer. Damaging floods occasionally occur in May and the early part of June, but seldom at other seasons of the year. July and August rains are local; showers and thunder storms usually occur at opportune intervals during these months and are ample for maturing staple crops. Good rains set in again in September and October, putting the soil in good condition for seeding and germinating wheat.”
The above quotations are a concise, authoritative statement about climate and rainfall in the section of which Mayes County is a part.
Source: Benedict, John D. Muskogee and northeastern Oklahoma, including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. 3 v. illus., ports., facsims. 28 cm. Chicago, S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.